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10 smartphone photography accessories: Take your photos to the next level!
Many of today’s smartphone users utilize their phones as their primary cameras. If you are to replace your traditional camera with a phone, adding some smartphone photography accessories to your repertoire is recommended. These can help you achieve much better results and improve your experience. Even a cheap device can produce excellent photos with some help. Here are the best smartphone photography accessories we recommend investing in.
Which smartphone photography accessories do you actually need?
As it goes with anything, picking the best smartphone photography accessories will depend on your specific needs. If you’re commonly shooting long-exposure images in the dark, you might want to invest in a nice tripod or an LED light panel. Those who need more lens versatility can look for the right external lenses for smartphones. Shooting video smoothly can be hard on smartphones, so grabbing a smartphone gimbal might be a good investment, even for professionals.
Some extras might also make shooting a much better experience. Those shooting outdoors in dusty areas will find a good microfiber cloth one of the best investments. Selfie lovers will also treasure a remote shutter. If your phone is dying all the time because of so much shooting, a portable battery pack will be a life-saver.
We’ve put together this list based on quality, but also value. We’re trying to get you the best products, built nicely, and offering a superior photography experience. We also don’t want you to overpay when unnecessary, though.
The best smartphone photography accessories
Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best smartphone photography accessories as new products launch.
A tripod is one of the first smartphone photography accessories you buy when getting into this art. It is a simple tool that doesn’t need to cost much but will offer many shooting benefits. And since smartphone photography is all about mobility, you want your tripod to be small and convenient to carry. The Manfrotto Pixi Evo (shown above) is one of our favorites.
A tripod can be used for long exposure photography when the shutter speed is slowed down. This technique can create light trails, smooth out fluids, and better expose images without increasing the ISO (which affects photo quality). Using a tripod can also reduce motion blur or shaky videos. It helps to have the camera static when learning composition, giving you more time and freedom to frame a scene properly.
I am a fan of large, sturdy tripods because I also use them for my heavy DSLR and mirrorless cameras. This is why we like the Joby Gorillapod 3K, which is a hybrid with excellent portability, stability, and sturdiness. It can be used for smartphones and much heavier cameras as heavy as three kilos. You can also save some money with the Joby Gorillapod 1K if you’re happy with a one-kilogram capacity. Octopus tripods get their nickname from their flexible legs. They can be folded and adjusted in multiple ways and can be used to wrap around objects.
Microfiber cleaning cloth
These are cheap and useful smartphone photography accessories. Smartphones get dirty and oily, including the camera glass. This results in blurry or smudgy photos, so make sure to keep the lens glass clean with a microfiber cleaning cloth — using your shirt isn’t a good idea. We like this Nikon one because it comes in a little bag that’s easy to carry and attach to other items, such as backpacks. It’s also from a renowned brand and pretty affordable.
Remote shutter control
Save for a few exceptions, a smartphone’s rear camera is significantly better than the one in the front. Taking a selfie with the rear shooter is no easy feat, though, and it’s no fun having to rush for a timer. You can get yourself a remote shutter control to avoid the hassles and get the best selfie your phone can produce. These work via Bluetooth and allow the user to trigger the shutter from a distance.
Remote shutter controls also happen to be very cheap. A good one is the Ashutb camera shutter control. It works via Bluetooth with both Android and iOS devices. The 60ft range is extensive, and battery life is very generous, with a six-month standby time.
Clip-on lenses come in handy when your smartphone’s built-in glass is too limited. These smartphone photography accessories offer higher focal lengths, zoom capabilities, macro focusing distance, fisheye effects, and wide-angle perspectives.
Smartphones are becoming more versatile thanks to the implementation of multiple cameras and lenses. While these help, they don’t come close to what you can do with these larger, external lenses. Not to mention, these lenses can usually be attached to a wide variety of devices, giving you more freedom of choice when it comes to smartphones.
There are many lenses for smartphones, but our favorites come from Moment. Check them out by hitting the button below.
Portable LED panel
Photography is all about light, and having some extra help in dark environments will allow you to get better results. LED panels have gotten smaller and more affordable. The one shown above is the Viltrox LED Lighting Kit, which features a 3,000mAh rechargeable battery, temperature calibration, and dimming support. You also get a mini tripod and a smartphone holder for convenience.
If you’re looking for a more substantial LED with multiple light sources for a more uniform exposure, the GVM Great Video Maker LED Ring Light will produce improved results. You get dimmable lights, and can choose to plug in or use a battery as a power source.
Portable battery pack
Your phone will quickly run out of battery if you shoot photos and videos throughout the day. You don’t want a dead phone when a photo opportunity presents itself. Getting a portable power bank to keep your phone juiced up is a good idea.
Other options: The best portable battery packs
We like the Samsung Super Fast 25W Portable Wireless Charger. Its 10,000mAh battery isn’t massive, but it’s good enough to charge your phone a couple or few times. What makes it a more exciting option is its 7.5W wireless charging support. And it can charge at up to 25W wired, too.
Audio is one area where smartphones usually lack quality, and it is crucial for recording video. Improve your clips by using an external microphone. A good one is the Rode VideoMic Me (pictured above). This directional microphone will be great for recording your voice, or you can turn it around to get better audio of whatever you’re shooting. It can be attached to your phone’s 3.5mm headset jack. If your phone lacks a headset jack, there’s also a USB-C version available, as well as a Lightning one.
Camera rigs are for serious content creators. These contraptions make it possible to mount your smartphone, lights, microphones, battery packs, and smartphone photography accessories.
The Shoulderpod G2 Professional Video Grip is a popular one, equipped with two tripod threads and six cold shoe mounts for other accessories. It can be attached to a tripod in both landscape and portrait orientations.
Image stabilization has come a long way, but an advanced gimbal can further improve your videos. These smartphone photography accessories use motors to keep a smartphone stable over three axes. It will reduce shaking and create smooth movements.
Again, there are plenty of options available, but we like the Zhiyun Smooth 4. It offers an outstanding balance between price and functionality. Users will love the level of control available from the built-in buttons and knobs. Not to mention it’s one of the most popular stabilizer brands in the industry.
There’s actually a successor to this model, but we believe it’s over-priced and doesn’t offer much more to sweeten the deal. You can check out our review of the Zhiyun Smooth 5 if you want the latest and greatest, though.
Mobile photo printer
There’s nothing like seeing your digital photographs turn to life by printing them out. If you want to go all out with mobile photography, you’ll need a portable photo printer. The Fujifilm Instax Link Wide is one of our favorites.
It can print 10.6 x 8.4 cm photos and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The wider ratio makes it better for smartphone photographs, which never really adopt the square image format. The only downside is that you have to buy a special film for it.
Buying a camera is only the first step in the photography money pit.Edgar Cervantes
These smartphone photography accessories are sure to take your images to another level. Remember, buying a camera is only the first step in the photography money pit. Lucky for you, you probably already have a smartphone, and most of these accessories are affordable. However, you can take things to the next level with dedicated photography equipment. Check out our list of the best Photography essentials for more recommendations.